Healthy Holiday Gifts

A bundle of ways to show that you truly care.

| November/December 2000

Need some new ideas for holiday gifts this year? We asked experts in the field, including members of our advisory board and contributing writers, to tell us their favorite gifts of health to give. Let their ideas inspire you!

I like to give a friend a complete home spa day, which includes a hand and foot bath, a salt glow treatment for the hands and feet, an herbal facial steam, and a white clay mask, followed by a massage with my ultimate face cream. Ideally, this is done sitting outside in the garden with the sound of birds and wind in the trees. But it can also be as peaceful in the quiet of a home with candles lit, soft music in the background, and homemade incense burning. The entire treatment takes less than two hours and is always appreciated as much by men and children as by women.
—Rosemary Gladstar, herbalist

I think the greatest healing gift is the profound love of nature. You can ingest it (as in good foods and herbs), live in it (surround yourself with beautiful houseplants or a garden), retreat into it (take time out to go camping, take herb walks, visit the rainforest), or conserve it (join local and international conservancy efforts, plant a wild area in your own yard).
—Constance Grauds, R.Ph., Herbs for Health editorial adviser

One of my favorites is a relaxing bath blend of essential oils for stress. This could include oils of sandalwood, clary sage, lavender, orange, bergamot, or marjoram.
—Mindy Green, Herb Research Foundation

I like neck pillows containing flaxseeds and various aromatic herbs such as lavender. These are heated in a microwave and then wrapped around your neck. They stay hot for a long time and provide penetrating warmth into the muscles. The aromatic herbs are doubly relaxing. A smaller version of this can be used as an eye pillow. I also love handmade soaps that use glycerin and other non-toxic ingredients and are infused with various combinations of fragrant herbs. Herbal bath salts make a nice complement to a gift basket.
—Robert Rountree, M.D.

I’d give a gift certificate for a shiatsu or acupuncture session, or better yet, for a private session with a really great yoga teacher. A person can get an idea of how they’re chronically holding stress in their body, how it’s creating pain and reduced organ function, and how to start to release it and develop better habits. That’s even better than a massage if it gets people into more awareness and a better daily practice.
—Christopher Hobbs, L.Ac, Herbs for Health editorial adviser

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